Feds charge Kansas City fire captain for selling guns to felons
By Chris Eger
Kansas City Fire Dept. Capt. James Samuels, overlayed with an AR-style firearm sold in an undercover buy conducted by the ATF. (Photo: Composite from USAO and KCFD)
Federal prosecutors last week announced a number of weapons charges against a career firefighter who sold guns without a license, some of which went on to be used in crimes.
James Samuels, 52, of Kansas City, was arrested on Oct. 4 following a lengthy investigation into his sale of dozens of firearms — primarily cheap Jimenez pistols — through a series of straw buyers to convicted felons. Authorities say that at least six of the guns have been involved in crimes including the murder of Alvino D. Crawford by a 16-year-old two years ago.
A 34-page affidavit filed in a Kansas City federal court by an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives cites that Samuels came under suspicion in January after a known straw purchaser reported eight Jimenez pistols stolen, many of which had been purchased at area gun stores by Samuels. Following up with one of the shops, a clerk told agents that he warned Samuels, who often brought in third parties to look at guns before he bought them, that